Mt. Hood Adventure Park

    So, it is no longer winter. Gone are the weekends cruising down Mt. Hood on skis and snowboards. Gone are the weekend treks up the numerous Mt. Hood nature trails to take in the Winter Wonderland above Portland, Oregon. For many, myself included, this can be a sad and depressing time. I love winter sports and I love an excuse to bundle up and go to the mountains and take in the snow and ice capped beauty of the area.

    Thankfully, I still have a way to travel down Mt. Hood at an insane speed even in spring and summer: The Alpine Slide at Mt. Hood Adventure Park.

    The Alpine Slide at Mt. Hood’s Adventure Park at Ski Bowl is the only half-mile dual alpine slide in the Pacific Northwest. The slide “[S]ends you flying down a half mile track of twists and turns through mountain meadows before dropping you back off in the base area of Skibowl West. Two side-by-side tracks let you ride alongside family and friends as you take banked turns, S-curves and hairpin thrills at the speed of your choice.”

    This is a great alternative to skiing when skiing is not available. It also opens up the imagination. As my son and I fly down the track, we like to pretend that we are Olympic Bob sledders and lugers. As we begin our adventure with a relaxed trip on the Scenic Sky Chairs (well, maybe not relaxing to this acrophobe, but maybe for others), our hearts begin to race. Think about it: A roller coaster ride down a mountain!

    We get off the sky chairs, strap on our helmets and climb into the slides. And the countdown, “1,2,3” and the 350 foot descent begins!

    We feel like we’re flying, though the average speedis around 20 MPH, winding down the track in full control (the hand brake is at our side), I swear I have reached over thirty-five miles an hour. Not Olympic speed, but pretty darn fast for an untrained amateur!

    And, as my son and I exit and high five each other, hearts still racing, we wander through the beauty of Mt. Hood and look for my wife and daughter. You see, Mt. Hood Adventure Park at Ski Bowl isn’t just the Alpine Slide. Mt. Hood Adventure Park, about an hour from Portland, is disk golf, mini golf, go kart racing, mountain biking, trampolining, horseback riding, canoeing, and pretty much anything else you can think it. And, the food and beverages here are not your typical amusement park faire. In true Portland tradition, it is delicious and creative.

    Mt. Hood Adventure Park at Ski Bowl is a true, all in one entertainment experience that has something for everyone in the family… and it serves as a delightful gap between spring and late fall, when the ski season begins.

    Hourly, daily and seasonal passes are available. For more information, visit http://www.skibowl.com/summer/.

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